Advanced English Grammar



List of Prefixes and Meanings


A list of prefixes including meanings and typical usage is found below for the letters A thru D

On this page -- and those that follow -- you'll find a complete prefixes list plus some definitions and words which have include those specific prefixes.

Most prefixes in English are from the Latin and Greek languages so a knowledge of Latin and Greek prefixes and suffixes will help you learn new vocabulary and unlock unknown words in any testing situation.

I've included the list of prefixes alphabetically to make it easier for you to study and remember them.

I recommend printing out this page (and those that follow) and looking over the list to get an understanding of the prefixes and how they are used.

Next, I would suggest looking over any text (a newspaper article is a good source) and searching for words with the prefixes listed.

Any unkown words should be easy to figure out using the list of prefixes.

List of Prefixes and Meanings - A thru D

ab,abs from, away from


abduct = lead away, kidnap,
abjure = renounce

to, forward


advance = move forward
accord = agreement, harmony,
affliction = cause by distress
aggregation = collection,
annexation = addition,
appease = bring toward peace,
arraignment = indictment,
assumption = taking for granted,
attendance = presence, the persons present

ambi both


ambiguous = double meaning,
ambivalent = having conflicting emotions

an, a without


anarchy = lack of government,
amoral = without morals

ante before


antecedent = preceding event or word,
antediluvian = ancient

anti against, opposite


antipathy = hatred of,
antithetical = exactly opposite

arch chief, first


archetype = original, first, head
archbishop = chief bishop

be over, thoroughly


bedaub = smear over,
befuddle = confuse thoroughly

bi two


bicameral = composed of two houses,
biennial = every two years

cata down


catastrophe = disaster,
cataract = waterfall,
catapult = hurl

circum around


circumnavigate = sail around,
circumspect = cautious,
circumscribe = limit

with, together


combine = merge with,
coeditor = joint editor,
collateral = subordinate, connected
conference = meeting,
corroborate = confirm

contra, contro against


contravene = conflict with,
controversy = dispute

de down, away


debase = lower in value,
decadence = deterioration

demi partly, half


demigod = partly divine being

di two


dichotomy = into two parts,
dilemma = choice between two alternatives

dia across


diagonal = across a figure,
diameter = distance across a circle

dis, dif not, apart


discord = lack of harmony,
differ = disagree

dys faulty, bad dysfunctional = not functioning properly


To go to the list of prefixes page letters E thru O just click on the previous link.